Happy Thursday. We’re kicking off our Quickies posting a bit late this week. I have a good reason: Monday I was out of commission until the evening with work and then I went out with some friends and family. It’s important that you never forget to take moments for yourself. So on this Thursday, I dedicate this one to the Dirk Nowitzkis of the world, the folks who make their career by making ugly shots look like water. Let’s get into Volume 41 and support dope music in all its forms.
Kaleel Carpe – “Gray Impalas”
Over a boombap beat that brings to mind J. Cole, Carpe’s “Gray Impalas” speaks his mind and his truths. From being a provider for his family to discussing Black excellence to be a lyricist and dealing with the repercussions of being such, this covers it all. Produced by Charlotte producer Marc Spano, “Impalas” is one of those songs you shut up and listen to, mainly because of his flow but especially because of his lyrics. The visuals are pretty simple, but they don’t take away from the bars because of their simplicity; in fact, they help hammer the points home.
Jay.Taala – “My Reality”
Dedicated to his newborn daughter, Taala’s “My Reality” is that sort of inspirational music that you love to hear when things look a bit darker. I particularly love Jay’s vocals here because they remind me of a mix between Chris Brown and Miguel. The production is solid, as well, but the vocals make this track pop. That’s especially because of the lyrics Jay’s singing here.
Prozack Turner x Statik Selektah – “Don’t Call Me ‘Fam'”
What can I say about this one that doesn’t sound cliched? I ask because everything I want to say has probably already been said. Okay, here goes. Well, the beat’s fire, the bars are fire and the overall vibe of the song is fire. Nothing can douse this flame. Essentially, if you want lyrics for days about keeping your true family close and the enemies far away, this is for you. Turner’s flow is so laidback here, and it works over the jazzy beat. The West Coast legend’s pen is sharp on “Fam,” for sure.
BB Thomaz – “Pray For You“
A ballad with a message of persevering in the face of adversity and just giving your fellow person respect and love, “Pray” is a soulful song that is made that much better by the combination of Thomaz’s vocals over a guitar strumming. The acoustic nature of the song helps the message cut through everything that much clearer. It’s one of those songs you can play as you sit in deep thought, but also one you can play with the people you love.
OD The Kid – “There Were Good Times”
A song that sounds like a Neptunes beat, kind of like Brent Faiyaz’s “Wasting Time,” “Good Times” questions why people stay in relationships that don’t really work for them any more. I feel this song, more than some may know because I’ve been in relationships and with people who didn’t serve my soul or my growth and I found myself wondering “why?” I didn’t have the answer then, but I do now. Nostalgia is a powerful drug and it can cloud your judgment at times. I think that’s what OD’s trying to get at on this song. This appears on his Afraid of Love EP, which recently released.
TYLAN – “Thank You Mama”
It’s a tribute to mothers, including his own. What else is there to say about it? The song’s beautiful, TYLAN’s vocals are beautiful and the message is beautiful. Give the mothers all their flowers, regardless of if they’re single mothers or married or what have you. Why? Mothers are some of the strongest people in the world. I mean, heck, my mother put up with my foolishness for almost 27 years. Anyone who can do that deserves every ounce of praise they receive and will receive over the course of a lifetime–and beyond.
Lincoln – “Truth Don’t Lie”
With production that sounds straight out of a Curtis Mayfield album, “Truth Don’t Lie” is all about finding realities from life lessons taught in the past. It doesn’t hurt that the lyrics are very catchy while also being quite profound. It’s that rare mix between a bop and a lyrical deep-dive into what makes humans tick, what makes us want to keep learning from the past when the present seems a bit shinier. I love the vibe of “Truth,” as it’s about putting the past front and center and not really focusing on what’s incredibly popular right now.
929 Reese – “Red Man”
New York melodic rapper 929 Reese is a 19-year-old artist who knows how to make a catchy track, but one that also delves deep into his life. You may know him for his song “No Heart” with Coi Leray. This is my first time coming in contact with his music, but it won’t be my last–at least I’d like to hope so. That’s because he’s gritty and realistic and showing the negatives of street life and the whole nine, while still making a bop-friendly song. I’m glad he started doing music, as well. Too many young people get taken away by drugs and guns these days.
LA From Treemix Ent – “No Friends”
This Cleveland artist delivers some pain-heavy bars, as this one’s dedicated to the mother of his children who passed. The lyricism puts you right in his situation, even though it’s not a very nice one. Sometimes, we find beauty in dark situations–which is what happened between LA and his kids’ mother. Sonically, “No Friends” sounds like a mix between Bone Thugs N Harmony and Curren$y. If either of those artists are in your faves, you should give “Friends” a listen.
Jae Anthonie – “Pennies”
California-born Jae Anthonie’s latest song discusses how money, while sometimes the root of evil, is one of those things we all end up chasing. It’s also a pretty in-depth look into his growth as a human and as an artist. Add in some religious overtones and discussions of self-medication (and how it typically fails) over a distinctly West Coast beat and you’ve got “Pennies.”
LUCA – “Alter”
Another song about falling out of love and needing to move on, “Alter” brings to mind Frank Ocean for sure. The Harlem-born artist’s song details that loss of love and what happens over the process. You start wondering if you’re strong enough to leave, even though you know you’ve got to. I love the production, especially the guitar solo in the middle of the song. He displays some songwriting and maturity beyond his years, but he sounds right at home over this song. Not bad for a second song. Not bad at all.
TRP.P – “Way I Like”
Over smooth and sexy instrumentation, Toronto duo TRP.P (pronounced like “trippy”) sing about their lover in a way that lets it be known they’re the only one who can scratch that proverbial itch. The production also reminds me of mid-2000s R&B mixed with a bit of neo-soul. It’s sexual but not crass, which is always up my alley. It’s a song that feels like it should be on anyone’s late-night playlist. It could be because of the group’s approach to the subject matter. I think that’s what it is for me, at least.
ray laurel – “Hunter Schafer“
A song named after Euphoria actress Hunter Schafer, ray laurel’s latest is very introspective while still also being relatively abstract in its sound. It feels like a Prince song, a Frank Ocean song and a mix of the two at once. I love laurel’s genre-blending here, as he goes from indie rock anthem to slow burner R&B track as well.
T. Shan – “Magnolia”
A song about some of the failed relationships Shan’s found himself in over the years, “Magnolia” is another slow burner sort of song. It’s moody R&B with an undercut of “I’m going to make it out of this predicament at some point.” I love the vulnerability he presents on this one as well. I also love the darkness in the visuals and the “I’m alone–for now” nature of the video.
Belaganas – “If You Want It”
Lyrically sound with a mix between conscious vibes and pop beats, “IYWI” is a high-energy track about wanting to be good and sound within a relationship–even if you’re a bit unsure as to why you and your partner aren’t good at the moment. The visuals help make this one, especially the various frame speeds within the video. Things go from slow to hyperspeed in moments, kind of like an argument with a significant other can go from 0 to 100 real quick. This song appears on the trio’s SOFTY (“Songs Originally For The Youth”) EP, which dropped recently.
We’ve got some great tracks to choose from, so let’s get to choosing.